I was in the middle of writing a steamy sex scene toward the end of my novel and writing so fast my hand was cramping up. My two main characters were finally hooking up and the chemistry was sizzling. But then…I got stuck. I had to describe something that was, ahem, an intimate body part in a somewhat contorted position and I just didn’t have the words. I paused and started to think, but as I was thinking I could feel myself losing the magic of momentum. So, I pushed on as best I could, using horrible clumsy words that weren’t right at all, but knowing I needed to place priority on pinning down the emotions in the moment. I could come back later and fix everything else up.
Okay, this might sound weird, but I’ve never done a subscription box before. I know what they are, because I have friends who get them, and I’ve always thought they were interesting but…meh, not really for me. I’m not into makeup or toys or collectibles or anything that seems to go into these oh-so-popular subscription boxes.
And then I discovered The Wallflower Box.
A few years ago, in 2015, I hit a wall with writing. I had just given birth to my son a few months before, I was completely exhausted all the time, and I had been querying on multiple novels for years, with no success. I had done everything I thought I was supposed to do. Joined and founded writing groups, worked with beta readers, steeled myself through harsh critique, edited and revised my manuscripts until it felt like my eyes were going to bleed, and still…nothing.
I felt like a complete failure.
Today’s guest post is from Phillip McCollum, who many of you might remember as the author of The Pros and Cons of Being an INTJ Writer. Phillip has been blowing my mind for the past year as he’s written a new short story EVERY WEEK for 52 WEEKS. Today’s post is all about what the process taught him and how it helped him become a better writer.
52 short stories in 52 weeks?
It wasn’t going to work. I just knew it. It would be a colossal waste of time and I would be stuck in the same damn rut 52 weeks from now–a hard drive filled with innumerable half-starts and unfinished tales.
First of all, I wanted to write novels. Short stories were OK, but they weren’t novels. I’d been indoctrinated by countless ‘writing experts’ that the two styles were as different as house cats and narwhals and if you wanted to do one of them, you should absolutely, without a doubt, completely ignore the other.
In all my years of coaching, I’ve run into a definite pattern with INFJ and INFP artists and writers. It seems that most of us don’t decide to pursue our true calling until later in life. Usually, it’s after 40. Now, this doesn’t mean that we don’t feel the stirrings of inspiration or the pull to create long before then, but it’s not usually until we’re entering the latter half of life that we make the conscious decision to take the plunge and just do it, whatever “it” may be.
Why does it take us so long? Is it true that most INFJ and INFP personality types are just late bloomers and need more time than the rest of the population to figure out what they really want to do in life?